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Growth industry of 2007: Antiwar Republicans

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:19 PM
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Growth industry of 2007: Antiwar Republicans

I predict that George W. Bush has six months, nine at most, before the bottom falls out. Not in Iraq itself that bottom fell out a long time ago. No, Im talking about GOP support for the war.

A sense of growing concern really more like abject terror is spreading like a flu epidemic among the ranks of the Republican Party over how the war in Iraq will play out politically in 2008. While most of the punditry continues to treat the 2006 results as a one time curiosity, smart Republican politicos know better. Something much more fundamental is at work.

The danger signs for the GOP are everywhere. For one thing, the public, not unexpectedly showing considerably more common sense than much of our political leadership, remains strongly opposed to US policy in Iraq, with huge majorities opposing any increase in the number of troops stationed there. When one considers that just such a surge in troop numbers appears to be the evolving GOP Iraq strategy, the political risk couldnt be clearer. (All the more true given the fact the strategy has virtually no chance of working.)

Add to that the fact John McCain, Republican presidential frontrunner and leading congressional advocate for increasing force levels, is seeing a significant drop in his support among independents (probably as a result of his taking that very position) and you begin to see the first outlines of a possible GOP perfect storm.

Republicans in Congress largely stood by Bush in 2006 and they got their clocks cleaned. They wont do it again.

We already have the recent statement of conscience against the war by Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), who just happens to face a tough reelection contest in 08. Assuming there are no stunning improvements on the ground in Iraq over the next few months, sadly a fairly safe bet, I think the following is likely to happen: At first well see a small trickle of additional Smith-like GOP flips to the antiwar camp. But relatively soon, probably no more than six to nine months from now, as the political panic really sets in, the dam will break.

I predict that by the end of 2007, George W. Bush is going to find himself a very lonely man.

POSTNOTE: And, yes, it is sad that political calculation, as opposed to concern for the lives of our troops, may in many cases be the deciding factor that turns GOP representatives and senators against the war, but as a member of the reality-based community, I have to call it as I see it.

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theoldman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:36 PM
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1. In politics it' every man or woman for themselves.
Many politicians were elected by riding on Bush's coattail when Bush was on his way up. Now that Bush is going down they will abandon him.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:19 PM
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2. Normie Coleman has also already weighed in;

WASHINGTON - Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., said Wednesday after a trip to Iraq that he would not support an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Baghdad.

In a conference call with reporters from Bahrain, Coleman said he would "stand against" any effort for a "surge" of troops in Baghdad, unless there's a clear vision that it will help end sectarian violence in the city.

"I think it would create more targets," he said. "I think we would put more life at risk."

President Bush said Wednesday that he has yet to decide whether he should send more troops to Iraq temporarily.

Coleman said he did support expanding the military, saying U.S. troops are stretched too thin, resulting in long and frequent deployments. He also said a bigger military is necessary in a dangerous world.

The senator, who spent two days in Iraq and traveled to the cities of Baghdad, Fallujah, Taqaddum and Talil, repeated earlier statements about the need for sectarian violence to end. Iraqis have to move quickly to end sectarian "slaughter," he said. "They have to move forward with reconciliation." For the United States to have any success in Iraq, the bloodletting has to stop, Coleman said.

Prompted by Bush's comments that the United States is neither winning nor losing the war in Iraq, Coleman said, "We're not winning because Iraq is tearing itself apart." The United States can't be successful until Iraqis find resolution in Baghdad, he said. Coleman said violence in that city is beyond comprehension.

Coleman said troops are winning battles against Al Qaeda and Baathist insurgents in Fallujah. But they shouldn't fight indefinitely, he said, and the Iraqi military will have to move to the front lines and police will have to start patrolling streets at some point.

He suggested that Iraqis meet certain benchmarks within a timeframe, and if those benchmarks aren't met, he said U.S. troops should accelerate pulling back and repositioning within Iraq.

It was Coleman's second trip to Iraq. His first visit was in January 2005.

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